The last few years have been a troubling time for all types of industry with so many cutbacks and redundancies. Construction was one of the first trades to be hit at the start of the recession, and as many of us know all too well, the culture of working as a self-employed contractor can mean an unpredictable pattern of work and income, particularly in troubled times.
But 2014 has been a good year for many and it's clear to see that the economy is on the mend and opening up plenty of opportunities in construction and contracting. Here's what we've seen in 2014:
The continuation of the Green Deal Home Improvement Scheme
The £120million funding for improving the insulation, energy consumption and carbon footprint of private homes begun this year and the government have just announced a further £30million in vouchers to be released. Homeowners and tenants have been benefitting from free works such as floor insulation to help cut down heating bills. Demand is expected to exceed supply in 2015, creating plenty of work.
The continuation of 24+ advanced learning loans
The government funds extra college and training courses for learners over the age of 24, and these loans don't need to be paid back until April 2016. This is the time to start thinking about professional development courses to further your construction career.
Embarking on something like a Site Management Safety Training Scheme can help you further your career to supervisory and management level and will give you knowledge that's transferable across the industry. Courses can be anything you like, and can include other disciplines such as first-aid training too. What's more, employers are obliged to grant employees a minimum amount of time off to attend training courses.
Boosted Budgets for more affordable housing
Scottish ministers have unveiled £25million worth of extra funding to tackle a shortage of affordable housing to rent and buy, and hope this will help to create 450 new homes. This in turn will help to keep and create more jobs in the construction industry and is an undertaking that will also boost revenue for material supply businesses, planners, interiors design and supply and administration staff.
A focus on High Street Re-generation and Entrepreneurism
We are definitely in the age of the entrepreneur in the UK as more and more of us find the gumption to go it alone and start our own businesses. Poor working conditions due to lack of funds, and job losses, have fuelled the nation to want to work for themselves, doing something they love.
This year has seen the rise of new independent shops, and also regeneration grants for businesses looking to relocate in particular areas. Thanks to this new wave of new businesses, there's plenty of shop-fitting work to be had and rising demand for skilled trades such as carpentry both on a private and a commercial level.
What's in store for Construction in 2015?
Whilst areas of the country are still suffering and are yet to catch up, trade is looking much healthier in the majority of industries. In 2015 expect plans for expanded premises, renovation of tired buildings and plenty of opportunity in new home building.
Look out for emerging aggregator websites listing jobs and project work too, as we are likely to see an increase in advertising and recruitment for plenty of businesses in the New Year.
If you'd like to talk to us about career progression in the construction industry, get in touch with one of our team today.